Spiny Softshell Turtle Care

Spiny Softshell Turtle Care: Raise It Without Worry

As a kid, you would love raising your own turtle at your house, right? Or perhaps you are a parent who loves to raise kids and also loves animals. Well, today, we are going to tell you about the Spiny Softshell Turtle Care.

When you start raising any turtle, you must first remember to give it proper care and feeding. This includes providing them with a safe environment, a healthy diet, clean water, a nice enclosure, and even a good enclosure cleaning technique.

As you raise a turtle from a kit, they need time to adjust to its new surroundings and learn a few things, before you take them out of the kit. Also, raising a Spiny Softshell Turtle takes a lot of patience, time, and effort.

Today, we will go over how to care of spiny softshell turtles and also how to maintain them. Read more below.

Basic Info About Spiny Softshell


Here is some general information about spiny softshell jackets. Knowing them will help you in making the right decision whether to get it or not.

Basic Info About Spiny Softshell
FeaturesInformation and Details 
Scientific NameTrionyx Spiniferus
Common Name Spiny Softshell
Adult SizeUp To Two Feet Long
Max Size 2.5 Feet
LifespanMore Than 2 Decades
DietCarnivore, And Its Diet Consists Of Fish, Crayfish, And Other Aquatic Invertebrates
RangeFreshwater Habitats, Including Ponds, Lakes, Rivers, Tributaries, And Streams
Behavior Shy
Clutch Size 20 To 40 Hard Shelled Eggs
Legal to Keep in USAYes
Extinction statusCritically Endangered

Are Spiny Softshell Easy To Take Care Of?

Spiny softshell turtles are easy to care for, but there are some things you need to know before getting one. They require a large tank with plenty of water for swimming and basking, and they also need a basking spot that is dry and warm. UVB lighting is also necessary for their health. 

Are Spiny Softshell Easy To Take Care Of

Afterward, it’s just a measure of time until they grow up, and you need a bigger tank. These soft shells can grow pretty big after a couple of years

How To Take Care Of A Spiny Softshell?

A pet softshell turtle is a fascinating and unique animal. Caring for them isn’t too hard. Here are some tips on how to take care of a spiny softshell turtle. You can make a spiny softshell turtle care sheet and mark everything down. 

How To Take Care Of A Spiny Softshell

Get a bigger tank each year

Spiny softshell turtles need a large tank or pond. A full-grown spiny softshell turtle can grow to be up to two feet long, so they need plenty of space to swim and explore. If you plan on getting a spiny softshell, prepare for a bigger tank each year. 

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Feed them a meaty diet

These turtles are carnivores. Their diet should consist of live food, such as crickets, worms, and minnows. You can also feed them frozen or freeze-dried foods designed for turtles.

Give them plenty of sunlight and UVB lighting

Spiny softshell turtle needs to bask in the sun, sometimes. Provide them with a basking spot that has access to full-spectrum UVB lighting. A basking spot should be provided for your turtle to climb out of the water and dry off. This can be a log, rock, or floating platform.

Clean the water every month

It is crucial to keep the water in their tank clean.  Use a filter and do regular water changes to maintain clean water conditions. Plus, they can carry diseases like salmonella and giardia. So, be careful.

Provide a ramp or ledge

Spiny softshell turtles are semi-aquatic, so they need both land and water in their habitat. Provide them with a ramp or ledge so they can climb out of the water and bask in the sun.

Don’t forget the hiding space

These turtles are shy and reclusive, so it is essential to provide them with plenty of hiding spots. Logs, rocks, and plants can all be used to create hiding places for your turtle.

Avoid keeping a bunch of them together

Spiny softshell turtles are not social creatures. They should be kept alone or with other turtles of the same species.

Get a hiding spot

Your turtle will also need a hiding spot. This can be a cave, log, or rock. The hiding spot should be large enough for your turtle to fit inside and near the basking spot. 

Here’s a video on how it’s done.

Soft Shell Turtle Care – Caring for softshell turtles.

Can You Keep A Spiny Softshell As Pet?

You can keep a softshell turtle as a pet. But, you will have to provide them with a suitable environment. Also, the pet should not be placed in direct sunlight or given to young kids. These reptiles make great pets and do not need to be kept in particular conditions. They need food, water, a hideout, and a tank.

Can You Keep A Spiny Softshell As Pet

What Does A Spiny Softshell Need In A Tank

You should not place your spiny softshell turtle in a tank bigger than two gallons. If you put it in a larger tank, you will risk it getting trapped in the filter. 

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The tank should be at least 30 gallons. Plus, spiny softshell turtles should never be housed in less than that because they will have trouble swimming. It is also good to keep the water clean as it will help them not get sick. 

What Does A Spiny Softshell Need In A Tank

These turtles need access to some type of sand or substrate in a tank and plenty of room and shelter from predators.


1. Are spiny softshell turtles as pets good?

Well it depends. They can make very nice pets, but they are not for beginners. Spiny softshell turtles as pets need an aquarium large enough for them to swim. They also need UVB light and regular cleaning. 

2. What do spiny softshell turtles eat?

Spiny softshell turtles are carnivorous animals that eat crustaceans, fish, worms, mollusks, insects, and small vertebrates like frogs, lizards, and other reptiles. They typically hunt and consume their prey underwater. In the wild, they typically eat anything they can find. 

3. How much water does a soft shell turtle need?

A softshell turtle needs about 7 to 20 gallons of water to stay healthy. This amount of water allows the turtle to swim and dive, which is important for their physical and mental health. However, the bigger they are, the more water you will need. Too little water can cause turtle stress and make them more susceptible to illness.

4. Do spiny softshell turtles bite?

Spiny softshell turtles are no different than other turtles. All turtles have sharp teeth; however, softshell turtles are only dangerous if they’re frightened or injured. They are usually shy, so you hardly need to worry. 

End Note

I hope all your doubts about spiny softshell turtles’ care are cleared out. It is pretty straightforward. First, ensure that they have fresh water in an area with shade.

To remove any feces, you find in the enclosure, scrub it off with the hose and put new water in the container. Cleaning the cage often is crucial since it prevents any disease from spreading.

You may also need to trim their claws. Simply use your fingers to loosen and then cut away any sharp parts. This is all for today. Have a good day.

Spiny Softshell Turtle Care

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